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The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Monday, March 5, 2012

Aviation Community Mourns the Passing of Lt. Colonel R.D. White, U.S. Army (Ret)

By Carmelo Turdo

Rudolph David “R.D.” White, Lt. Col. U.S. Army Retired, 89, of Woodlawn, passed away 7:36 p.m. Saturday, March 3, 2012, at his home.

R.D. was born March 4, 1922, in West Frankfort, a son of Rudolph Da and Monell (Moore) White. He married Ellen Louise (Modert) on June 30, 1946, in Mt. Vernon and she died Sept. 6, 2000.

R.D. was a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. He entered the Army Air Corp. July 1942.  He served during World War II in Iwo Jima and Guam. He reentered the Army and was stationed at Camp Cooke California, Fort Lewis Washington, Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland and Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. He later went on to Fort Bliss, Texas, where he served as Company Commander of the 4th Ordinance Company which he was responsible for moving to Landstuhl, Germany. He commanded the Tuslog 67, a classified unit in the U.S. Army in Istanbul, Turkey, and then he went to Chateauroux, France. At Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, he attended Command and General Staff College and then he went to Kaiserslautern, Germany, where he was a Battalion Commander of the 71st Maintenance Battalion. He then went to Nuremberg, Germany, where he served as a G-4 of the 32nd Air Defense of Europe.

After retirement from the military his desire to stay busy lead him to manage the Benton Airport then later the Salem Airport. He was a founding member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Jefferson County Veterans Hall of Honor and Museum in Mt. Vernon and the Civil Air Patrol. R.D. served as a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Woodlawn where he was a member. He was instrumental in the construction of the new church. He attended the Baker Street Baptist Church in Walnut Hill and assisted in restarting it. He loved God, family and country.

He is survived by his daughter, Dee Richardson of Mt. Vernon; granddaughter, Devon Almaroad of Benton; and great-grandson Kent David Almaroad of Mt. Vernon.  He was preceded in death by his wife, parents and siblings.

Mount Vernon Outland Airport Manager Chris Collins put it like this: "'Team MVN', as well as the aviation world, has lost a mentor, friend, and Hero!"

(Source: Newell Funeral Homes)

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